Malawi’s Youth and Sports Minister Enock Chihana has said his pledge to negotiate for MHC houses for national soccer team players was not made out of excitement.
The minister said this when he addressed Flames players and their coaching panel on Tuesday morning at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre to wish them well ahead of next weekend’s 2014 World Cup qualifier against Namibia’s Brave Warriors away in Windhoek.
Chihana said he is aware that there are doubts surrounding his pledge, but was quick to blame officials from his ministry, Sports Council and FAM to facilitate the move.
“I spoke about [Malawi Housing Corporation] houses and a year has now gone. I did not make the pledge on [Malawi Housing Corporation] houses out of the blues. It was not out of mere excitement.
“I was concerned with the plight of national team players because you are national assets and you need to be motivated. I made that pledge knowing that MHC houses are reasonable and better than staying in Mbayani or Mchesi locations.
“But up to this day, I have not got any feedback on my desk regarding the issue. I only issue directives as a minister and these [government] officials are supposed to do the groundwork, but, unfortunately, up to now, they keep on pushing the ball to each other,” said Chihana.
However, responding to the minister’s statement, Principal Secretary II in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Justin Saidi blamed the delay on FAM and Sports Council for failing to provide the list.
“Honourable minister, when we get the list from FAM, through Sports Council, we’ll act accordingly. That is what is delaying the process,” said Saidi.
FAM executive member Flora Mwandira, who represented the association’s president Walter Nyamilandu, pledged to take up the matter with the relevant authorities at the association.